A winter of triumph, memories
(Note: We recapped the basketball season in last week's edition)
It was a winter for the memory banks and not just because of the record snowfall we endured.
Forecaster Country athletes impressed this winter on the ice, track, slopes, trails and in the pool, winning titles and turning heads in the process.
Before we move on to what hopefully will be a pleasant (albeit probably late) spring, here's one last look back at and tribute to the stars of winter.
Winter 2012-13 team state champions
Cape Elizabeth girls' swimming, Class A
Scarborough Red Storm boys' indoor track, Class A
Winter 2012-13 individual state champions
Greg Viola, Scarborough, boys' pole vault, Class A
Evan Long, Cape Elizabeth, boys' 50 freestyle, Class A
Jerry Gravel, Scarborough, boys' 200 individual medley, Class A
Jerry Gravel, Scarborough, boys' 100 breaststroke, Class A
Michael's top five stories
5) Cape Elizabeth boys' hockey earns playoff win
After being competitive, but largely frustrated for most of the regular season, the Cape Elizabeth boys' hockey team won its final two games to finish 7-10-1 and earn the fifth and final Western Class B playoff spot. That earned the Capers the right to go to No. 4 Yarmouth, a team they lost to (2-0) and tied (2-2) in the regular season, for the quarterfinals. There, Cape Elizabeth continued its resurgence with an inspirational 4-3 victory, the program's first postseason triumph since 2009. The Capers were ousted by eventual state champion Greely in the semifinals, but had a lot to be proud of.
4) Scarborough boys' hockey wins 18 straight
An even more dominant boys hockey team resided the next town over in Scarborough, which for most of the season was simply unstoppable. The Red Storm suffered a 1-0 loss at St. Dom's in its second game, then caught fire, closing the regular season on a 16-game win streak to capture the top spot in Western Class A with a program-best 17-1 record. Scarborough pushed its streak to 18 with playoff wins over Noble and Cheverus, but couldn't hold a late one-goal lead against Falmouth in the regional final and suffered an agonizing 4-3 defeat, denying its quest for a first Class A state title.
3) Scarborough girls' hockey gets to state game
If the Scarborough boys' ending was painful, it wasn't quite as gutwrenching as that of the girls' squad. The Red Storm went 16-1-1 in the regular season, earned the top seed in the West Region, then erased memories of recent playoff frustration with wins over Cheverus and York to make it to the program's first state final since the Maine Principals' Association began sanctioning the sport. There, against defending champion Greely, Scarborough couldn't score, but thanks to the stellar play of standout goalie Devan Kane, kept the game 0-0 through three periods. The Rangers finally broke through in overtime, however, repeating as champions and leaving the Red Storm one goal shy of ultimate glory.
2) Scarborough boys' track does it once more
Scarborough's powerhouse boys' indoor track team was able to win a third straight Class A state title and fourth in five seasons, but the Red Storm was pushed to the finish by Cheverus before prevailing, 61-57. Scarborough's lone event winner was Greg Viola, in the pole vault, but the Red Storm had plenty of depth and every point was crucial as the program's legacy carried on.
1) Records set, title won in the pool
Cape Elizabeth's girls' swim team has long been a Class A power and during February vacation week, the Capers held off Brunswick in a very close meet to win their first title since 2009 and their 16th overall. Cape Elizabeth had great balance in both the relays and individual events to spell the difference. The Capers boys' team fell short of the top spot, but senior Evan Long capped his brilliant high school career with a victory in the 50 free, setting a new meet record in the process. Scarborough's Jerry Gravel turned heads as well, winning the 200 individual medley and the breaststroke in state record time.